CHAPTER 12Technology: A Marriage of Myth, Convenience, and the Virtual Hour

TECHNOLOGY HAS, FROM THE BEGINNING, carried a promise of speed, cost, and scale. Bring them together and we have the dominant narrative of the consumer culture, which is convenience. Communicating with people not in the room is not new, but it has accelerated in this century, especially in what used to be called a workplace. We act as if we are in a new technological age, but the invention of writing and then printing launched long‐distance exchanges long ago. The telephone was another big step. We now have what we call a virtual or digital workplace. Online life. Another version of the old Yellow Pages advertisement to let your fingers do the walking.

Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, put the availability of spiritual and professional content into secular hands. This was disruption then, banned by the Catholic Church, which was a sales bonanza for Gutenberg. His Bible went viral.

What is new is how the virtual way of being has entered every corner of our lives. We now email people sitting next to us. We find love, companionship, and conversation on the internet. We work on a regular basis with people we will never meet. We receive coaching and therapy from across the country, with most senses unneeded. As consultants, we not only want to have influence with people over whom we have no control, we now may not even get to be in the same room with them. Plus, every minute of the day ...

Get Flawless Consulting, 4th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.